Monday, July 16, 2012

The Joy of Creation

There is an immeasurable happiness that comes from creating something.
(Kauai, 2004.)

And it doesn't matter if you're an artist or not.
And it doesn't matter if anyone else likes it or not.
And it doesn't matter if you ever show it to anyone or not. 
(Cuzco, Peru, 2007.)

* * * * * 
"Create what?" you ask.
Oh, you know exactly what.
That thing you keep telling yourself you'll do if you can ever find the time.
That thing that makes your heart skip a beat before you shove it clear out of your mind.

* * * * *
There's a million reasons why you keep putting it off.
Chief of which is probably that you think you don't have the time.
But -- news flash! Time is all we've got.
It's the only thing being alive guarantees us.
Just time.
And it runs out.
(Kauai, 2004.)

* * * * *
Maybe you've been putting it off because that little voice in your head always persuades you otherwise.
Then turn the music up louder.
(U2 at the Rosebowl, 2008.)

* * * * *
Or maybe you know what you want to do but you've been putting it off because you live in a small town and you can't find your tribe. 
That excuse has now officially expired. 
As a friend recently said to me, "The genius of the internet is that now there's a classroom for everyone." 
(New Delhi, 2007.)

* * * * *
What we're after here is not the creative end result but the creative process.
I arranged a bunch of wildflowers in a vase the other day and the bliss from those fifteen minutes lasted until bedtime.

Because when you let go and create something, lots of good things happen:

1. You experience freedom without judgment.
2. You connect to yourself.
3. You gain confidence.
4. You feel like time is expanding. (Imagine that!)

* * * * *
I'm not going to tell you how to do it.
That's entirely your affair.

Balzac wrote best after midnight wearing a white robe.

Before starting a novel, Somerset Maugham would read Voltaire's "Candide" over again. 

Winston Churchill's daily nap was a non-negotiable part of freeing up his brain.
(Cabinet War Rooms, London.)

What are you going to do?
How are you going to do it?



pve design said...

So often, I get the question - "How did you know you wanted to be an artist" - My answer is always simple. I knew I wanted to be an artist because there is always such joy in creating. Part of my motivation stemmed from supportive and loving parents who always love me. I think love has a lot to do with it, whatever one does.

meenal bishnoi said...

What a beautiful post, Lisa...The last couple of months have been very creatively satisfying for me..doing things I never thought I'd do..and I totally agree..nothing give more joy than seeing your creation come to life..It is the most amazing sensation..I hope to share it all with the world pretty soon!! much love..xx meenal

Cro Magnon said...

I am a painter by profession, but also by necessity. From the earliest age I painted, drew, and sculpted. There was no question about how I would end up! Greetings from France.

Max said...

My creativity would be boosted if my family took more naps and i took fewer! I'm all set to have a bash at printing on fabric. Just having a wee bit of a pre-trying-something-ive-not-done-before procrastinate. Suspect this post will be just the nudge i need...

Chic Delights said...

So true Lisa. I created my own blog! I am happy about it because I created it from scratch. Thank you for the encouragement and for reminding us not to be afraid to create and to fly!

Jessica Thor-Miller said...

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, sometimes I believe you listen to my thoughts! I currently carry the burden of being the family breadwinner and while I’m fairly adept and rather successful at my career, it doesn’t fulfill me creatively. I don’t get that heart flutter which comes unsolicited when I write, which is why I’ve decided to finally buckle down and write a novel. I am a storyteller and have been since a child. Whether or not I ever walk into a bookstore and see it on the shelf is inconsequential. It’s the process and the release of all the thoughts in my head onto paper. That and I have this romantic notion of an artistic life – which far surpasses that of a wage slave.


Emily said...

You are speaking to my heart....

Sunday Taylor said...

I love this post, Lisa. It is so encouraging and inspirational. I've been thinking a lot about this topic recently, and sometimes wonder what in the world I am waiting for. Just do it! Do you remember the book "The Artist's Way"? I am going to pull my copy off the book shelf and it just may get me started. Thanks again for such a powerful and beautiful message.
xx Sunday

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Wise, wise words.
And I'm especially fond of Churchill's method.

Miss Bibliophile said...

This is such a great, motivating post. I'm bookmarking it for when I need a little inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lisa, I have found two quotes that definitely keep me motivated:

"The trouble think you have time" (Buddha)


"You know those things you want to do ? You should GO DO THEM".

Both simple, straightforward but so, so true.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, it should be:

You know ALL those things you want to do ? You should GO DO THEM"

Unknown said...

Lisa, what a great post! Thanks for encouraging everyone to be brave enough to create! Wonderful. Here's to all the creators! Here's to all of us! Whoo hoo!

Hollywood forever, Kevin said...

Hey Lisa, I've been meaning to thank you for the info on the vintage photo link. I was thrilled although no purchases were made I was on it looking for way longer then I should have. Thanks it was a great lead! Kevin

carol : @perennial said...

This post speaks to my heart. It is beautifully written and spot on.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

YES. xx

meenal bishnoi:
Can't wait! xx

Cro Magnon:
How lucky you are that you followed your heart.

Ooh, printing on fabric is on my list too. Do it! :)

Pamela RG:
You are an inspiration!

Modern Traditionalist:
So funny about being on the same wavelength! You are an AMAZING writer and storyteller. DO IT. I will be first in line to buy it!! xxx

Good! xx

Sunday Taylor:
Do it!! xx

Pamela Terry and Edward:
I knew you would be. :)

Miss Bibliophile:

Brilliant quotes. That first one especially. Oh, those Buddhists. xx

Melissa Kojima:
And to everyone who's about to join us, too!

Hollywood Forever:
Kevin, I thought it would be up your alley! So glad you liked it! I know, it' a real time sucker, isn't it?!

That makes me so happy. xx

ASL said...

thank you

lisa from japan

Lily said...

and many thanks, Lisa, for being a lighthouse of inspiration as we sail along, sometimes in the dark...
your blog is one of the channel markers for me!
xx Lily

Rocio said...

Such true words. My husband always tells me that I shine the most when I am busily happily creating anything. And it feels so good!!
Need to stop and get back into the right path more often. Thanks for the reminder.

A Super Dilettante said...

My dear Lisa,

Hello. It's been a long time but I'm so delighted to see your thought-provoking post about creativity. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.

Oh how I adore your snippet about Balzac. His portrait painting reminded me of a Franciscan monk. But then writing is a vocation - a higher calling. I think I can understand why he would prefer writing so late in the night because we are closer to the unconscious mind.

Any kind of creativity is deeply comforting and nourishing to our soul. In the world of text messages and mobile phone, it would be a great pity if we place our creativity as our low priority. Our world would be vastly impoverished.

I remember reading something about Chekhov a couple of years ago. In the late stage in life, Chekhov apparently said: "My country house is full of people, they never leave me alone; if only they would go away I could be a good writer".

Wishing you many happiness and creativity in an abundant way you have brought into our sphere.

Best wishes, G

Leslie Harris said...

Reading this post reminded me how often people will ask me where I get my ideas for such and such...and I've always been at loss for words. When I think of creativity I think of a deep well of joyful colors and sensations all whirling about inside me, just waiting for that perfect "ah-ha" moment. Then I'm off and running. When I saw your photo with the wildflowers, it said everything. Utter Joy. That's the sensation of losing yourself in a creative endeavor. What a great idea to encourage others...
Leslie (aka Gwen Moss blog)

shiree segerstrom said...

The my dream, design my life, experience all forms of creativity. The hook or by crook,come hell or high water,no matter what. What an intriguing post. Thanks for that. Shiree'

helen tilston said...

Hello Lisa

I love the images and specifically Lucca at U2 concert.

I began knitting and embroidery at age 4 - under the tutelage of my grandmother, who designed knitwear. Later art classes and now I paint every day or do something art related.
One of my art partners quotes "if you start it - it will get finished" I believe this is what Lady Astor said to Winston Churchill when she saw him staring at a blank canvas for hours and he said he was having a hard time getting started. She took the paint brush from his hand and painted a line and said"
"there it is started, now finish it"

Unknown said...

Time expands.....this post made my heart beat fast and made me smile and inspired me. What a gift.

K&B by the Sea said...

Fabulous post! I think we all need to go back to the mindset we had when we were kids - we thought we could do anything (even fly!) and we tried to do anything (even fly!) without worrying about failing or looking silly or what other people would think of us. We just did it. Not always successfully, but hey, that's just part of the learning process :-)

Miss Cavendish said...

Agreed. Always amazed at people who are satisfied with buying something rather than creating. Of course there are limits; I'll rely on professionals to "make" my next car, for instance, but the joy I've got from, say, making my own slipcovers (and adding piping!) has been tremendous.

Caryl said...


Thank you for this post and the beautiful marriage of
thoughts and images. Years ago when I was an editor
a LIFE magazine. I liked to do what we called the picture story. I always chose abstract subjects like
"Hitting the Glass Ceiling" and my mostly male
editors were puzzled and disbelieving. Pick something concrete that you can show--like the birth of a butterfly,
they'd tell me. But then the photographer would lay
her frames on the light table and there it was: a narrative that depicted the hard to depict. Your
photo essays do that very same thing so imaginatively. I love them and your inventive, creative spirt.

24 Corners said...

I never feel more myself than when I've spent time creating, whether it be writing, art, gardening, of's such a joy and such a necessity for balancing the spirit.
I just spent the last few weeks creating an art camp for kids, and we just finished the first one yesterday. Seeing the joy these little ones have in creating their own masterpieces is unbelievable thrilling...and worth evey second of creative crazyness that leads up to it all!
I have three more camps to go Lisa, and this was the most perfect post to read as food for continued creative nourishment...thank you!! :)

Loved seeing Luca covered in paint!
xo J~

Anonymous said...

A really beautiful and inspiring post. Thank you - it's exactly what I needed to read today.

busanalayali said...

I like your information, ok, i’ll bookmark this site and return here in next few days.toko baju muslim

busanalayali said...

I like your information, ok, i’ll bookmark this site and return here in next few days.toko baju muslim

Maureen said...

Oh Lisa,
I can't stay quiet anymore. I have followed you and wanted to write comments and never have. Why? I felt I wanted something to give back before I added to the mix. I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed your spirit and how much you give to "us". I've been thinking about getting back into the blogosphere and I may soon. I feel I have a compatriot out there and just wanted to send my blessings.:) Maureen

Painting the hamptons said...

Love it, so true.... Thank you.

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

Exactly what I needed to read. Oh how I've missed reading your blog, but I had no idea how much until just now.

kim at northerncalstyle. said...

Love this Lisa. You always inspire!



Blog Widget by LinkWithin